Gen Z stopped Republicans’ expected red wave — here’s how GOP can win over young voters
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The political parties are gearing up to once again try to win over the young in what could be the most consequential election of the presidential cycle.
The Democrats, it appears, have fallen in love with President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” campaign, but Mitt Romney, whose campaign has been struggling throughout the fall, is still trying to woo voters in the 18- to 29-year-old age range with a program called the “Greatest Generation Experience.”
It’s a theme that is both simplistic — young people want to hear a strong candidate — and politically naïve, because it doesn’t address the challenges that face this generation and the challenges many of them face in life.
And, yes, the economy and the national deficit will be issues during the presidential campaign and in the months that follow. But the most important question those issues confront this generation is whether they want to be part of the economy or whether they believe in themselves.
It’s a question we hear all the time.
“My generation is the most divided generation in American history, and I can’t blame anyone for looking elsewhere,” says Chris Chiafari, an 18-year-old senior. “This generation needs to make decisions as to who they vote for. I’m voting for Obama, but I’m also casting a vote for myself, like my parents and all of my family, because I want to make sure that I have a shot at making things a whole lot better for me, and then things for me, and not just me. I want my kids to have opportunities that will help their generation.”
There’s one piece of this campaign that no one is talking about: the generation Y is the only one of three consecutive elections